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It appears there is more than one state U/S Mail Boat, Sophie C. on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH The Motor Vessel (M/V) Sophie C. on is the oldest floating post office in the United States. Each season she provides mail service on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH , a tradition dating back to 1892. Both of Sophie's daily mail runs takes her to 5 islands where her staff delivers mail to the island residents and summer camps. In addition to being a full-service post office where these residents may purchase postal supplies and stamps, Sophie also has a collection of ice cream novelty treats and snacks for sale. A daily ice cream bar or popsicle has become quite a summer tradition for her island friends. Passengers aboard the Sophie C. are invited to fill out Sophie C. postcards and mail them right on board. Perhaps you can surprise a friend or relative with mail sent from a boat, complete with Sophie's own unique, collectible cancellation stamp!

Morning Mail Stops: Loon Island, Bear Island, 3 Mile Island, East Bear Island

Afternoon Mail Stops: Camp Lawrence, Birch Island, Sandy Island, Cow Island, Jolly Island


Be Island Bound with the Oldest Floating Post Office

The Sophie C.- a floating mail boat serves as a full service post office, complete with stamps and postal supplies, six days a week for residents of the 250 plus islands on Lake Winnipesaukee

Concord, NH - In a time where it is easier to send e-mails than a handwritten letter, where the receiving time for the person on the other end could be so quick, it's a wonder that a floating post office is still a popular icon today. Since 1892, the Sophie C. has been serving the residents and tourists of Lake Winnipesaukee with her mail service and providing spectacular views of houses and mountain ranges that are unmatched from the shorelines.

The Sophie C. makes two daily trips around the lake, stopping at four islands in the morning, and five in the afternoon, with mail delivery running from mid-June to mid-September each summer. Whether passengers are looking to use the service as a shuttle for visiting friends who live on an island, or simply to enjoy the scenery, Sophie has your ticket.

This floating mail boat serves as a full service post office, complete with stamps and postal supplies, six days a week for residents of the more than 250 islands on Lake Winnipesaukee, This "Island Boat", as some of the locals call it, can also take on freight should residents need to send or receive packages during the summer months. In a typical season, the Sophie C. can process between 36,000 to 38,000 pieces of combined ingoing and outgoing mail.

Yet to the children and campers who spend their summer months on the lake, the Sophie C. is much more than solely a post office. As the three level horn blows, signaling her approach to each island, children come running with money in hand, anxiously awaiting to see what ice cream treats she has brought today. Some children even await the arrival of the vessel just to show off the tricks that they know how to perform while simultaneously jumping off the edge of the dock for the passengers looking down.

The world's only floating post office isn't in Venice.

From April through mid-December, around 5,000 sailors travel in continual motion on the Great Lakes. They live and work aboard vessels hauling freight from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan or Lake Huron or Lake Erie or vice versa. At some point during their journey, the ships pass through the Port of Detroit where the J.W. Wescott II will meet them and send up "mail by the pail."

The J. W. Westcott Company is headquartered along the Detroit River, just below the Ambassador Bridge. It became an official U.S. post office in 1895, and its pilot boat has been delivering letters and packages (as well as candy, cigarettes, and the occasional pizza) to vessels as they pass through the narrows of the Detroit River. During shipping season, the company is on duty 24/7 and delivers just about anything requested by the shipping companies, whether it's a new stove for a freighter or groceries for a trawler's cook. The Wescott meets the ships mid-river and hands up the goods in five-gallon steel buckets. It's a tricky exchange, as the pilot boat has to match the speed of the larger vessel, make the delivery, then pull away so as not to get caught in the bigger ship's wake.

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Q: What state has the only floating post office?
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